August 1st is officially Spider-Man Day, and in honor of this, here is some background on how the hero came to be.
The character of Spider-Man was created by Stan Lee and illustrated by Steve Ditko in 1962. Spidey’s first introduction was made in Marvel Comic’s Amazing Fantasy no. 15. Peter Parker is a young American teenager who gets bitten by a radioactive spider and gains superhuman strength, speed and can climb on walls. At the time, there was no such thing as a teenage lead hero in comics, so young kids responded and related to young Parker.
Marvel’s publisher, Martin Goodman, didn’t think Spider-Man would be popular enough. He feared Spider-Man’s constant money problems, romantic deficiencies, and spider motif would repel audiences. The success of Spidey’s introduction was a catalyst for Marvels’ most commercially successful superhero of all time. The first Spider-Man-centric comic was released in 1963, The Amazing Spider-Man; an estimated 360 million copies of Spider-Man comics have been sold to date.
Spider-Man’s adventures expanded into another ongoing comic series called The Spectacular Spider-Man, which was released in 1976 and had a whopping 263 issues. Later, in 1990, the Ultimate Spider-Man was released and ran for 19 years until Parker’s death. After that, Miles Morales, a half-black half Hispanic teenager from Brooklyn, claimed the mantle.
In 2002 Spider-Man made his way to the big screen in Sony’s Spider-Man starring Tobey Maguire. Sony made three films with the actor, the last of which being made in 2007. In 2009 the Walt Disney Company purchased Marvel Studios, but the character of Spider-Man was licensed by Sony and could not be involved in the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). In 2012 a reboot of the series starring Andrew Garfield titled The Amazing Spider-Man (staying true to the classic comics’ nomenclature) was released. This reboot had two movies, the second released in 2014.
In 2015, Disney and Sony came to a deal that allowed Spider-Man to be a part of the MCU and led to the third casting of Spidey, Tom Holland. He made his debut in the 2016 film Captain America: Civil War. Since then, there has been a second film, with the third set to release this December 2021. Fans are incredibly anxious to see Spider-Man: No Way Home because of rumors that all three castings, Toby Maguire, Andrew Garfield, and Tom Holland, will be involved in the film. Marvel hasn’t released any information or trailers, but we know that Doc Oc from Spider-Man 2 (2004) and Electro from The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) will return to the screen in this newest film.
An animated version of Spider-Man 2.0, Miles Morales, was released by Sony in 2018 with the title Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. It won the Academy Award for Best Animated Picture that year and another untitled second movie will release sometime in 2022.
This wildly popular character has come a long way, but there is only more to come. Between the 10 Spider-Man movies, they have made a total of $7,222,667,836 in the World Box Offices.
I personally cannot wait to see where Sony and the MCU take this character. What are you most excited about in Spider-Man’s future? Let us know in the comments below!